(Common Phrases Inspired by the Bible)
O ye, of little faith, rise and shine.
A little birdie told me that someone wondered what inspired the phrase “doubting Thomas.” It was then that I saw the handwriting on the wall—that I should blog common catchphrases found within Scripture.
But first, let me catch my breath, as I want to move mountains and not miss the mark. I want this speech to be a baptism by fire, a behemoth of phrases of biblical proportions. I don’t want to bite the dust or fall by the wayside. My heart’s desire is to be crystal clear. So don’t be a scapegoat and go to the land of Nod. Gird up your loins and let’s go the extra mile.
In a twinkling of an eye, phrases will come out of the mouth of babes. Did you hear the twenty-two spoken clichés thus far? It’s just a mere drop in the bucket of the idioms scattered throughout the Bible.
As for me, I’m a sheep among wolves and not afraid to be a fly in the ointment by speaking religious content to any crowd. I admit, I’m like a lamb going to the slaughter. Though before you put my head on a platter or a millstone around my neck or cast the first stone—who wants the kiss of death anyway?—may I extend an olive branch?
Allow me to take you under my wings and share with you some wisdom that is as old as Methuselah or even as old as the hills—for the truth will set you free. Then we will see face to face and eye to eye.
1. Be a good Samaritan and stay on the straight and narrow even if you have a broken heart. If your attitude turns to sour grapes, or if you have had a fall from grace, remember that to the Father, you will always be the apple of his eyes.
2. There is a season for everything since by the sweat of your brow you will reap what you sow. So eat, drink, and be merry and live off the fat of the land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Don’t eat the forbidden fruit and be nothing but skin and bones because man does not live by bread alone. And certainly, don’t live like a Jezebel–a wolf in sheep’s clothing who forever is a thorn in my side.
3. Don’t throw your pearls before swine, or they will throw you into the lion’s den and wash their hands of the matter. They are a law unto themselves and have feet of clay. They should have known it’s an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and that pride comes before a fall. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The root of the matter is that there is nothing new under the sun. It is still hard for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, a leopard can’t change his spots, and the love of money is the root of all evil.
To avoid chasing the wind and reaping the whirlwind, be the salt of the earth. Listen to that still, small voice, call on the Lord, and be as white as snow. Then when you give up the ghost, you will see streets paved with gold.
I hope this labor of love will not be weighed in the balance and found wanting, because a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush. Set in stone below are the Bible references to the idioms here within. Eighty-four in all.
It is now the eleventh hour. I have fought the good fight by the skin of my teeth. I’ve arrived at my wit’s end. Amen!
*A list of the phrases as they appear in order:
Let the scales fall off your eyes– Acts 9:18
O ye, of little faith – Luke 12:28
Rise and shine – Isaiah 60:1
A little birdie told me – Ecclesiastes 10:20
Doubting Thomas – John 20:24–25
The handwriting on the wall – Daniel 5:5
Let me catch my breath – Job 9:18
To move mountains – Matthew 17:20
Miss the mark – from the meaning of the Greek word hamartia in Luke 1:77, John 1:29, and 1 John 3:4
Baptism by fire – Matthew 3:11
Behemoth – Job 40:15
Of biblical proportions – things done on a huge scale, like the 10 Plagues – (Exodus 7:14-11:10)
Bite (lick) the dust – Psalm 72:9
Fall by the wayside – Luke 8:5
My heart’s desire – Psalm 21:2
Crystal clear– Revelation 21:11
Scapegoat – Leviticus 16:10
The Land of Nod – Genesis 4:16
Gird up your loins – Jeremiah 1:17
Go the extra mile – Matthew 5:41
In a twinkling of an eye – I Corinthians 15:52
Out of the mouth of babes – Psalm 8:2
Drop in the bucket – Isaiah 40:15
A sheep Among wolves – Matthew 10:16
A fly in the ointment – Ecclesiastes 10:1
Like a lamb going to the slaughter – Isaiah 53:7
Head on a platter – Mark 6:25
A millstone hung around my neck – Luke 17:2
Cast the first stone – John 8:7
Kiss of death – Matthew 26:48–50
Extend an olive branch – Genesis 8:11
Take you under my wings – Psalm 17:8
As old as Methuselah – Gen 5:25-27
As old as the hills – Job 15:7
The truth will set you free – John 8:32
See eye to eye – Isaiah 52:8 (KJV)
(See) Face to face – I Corinthians 3:12
Good Samaritan – Luke 10:30–37
Straight and narrow – Matthew 7:14
A broken heart – Psalm 147:3
Sour grapes – Ezekiel 18:2
Fall from grace – Galatians 5:4
Be an apple of his (your) eyes – Psalm 17:8
There is a season for everything – Ecclesiastes 3:1
By the sweat of your brow – Genesis 3:19
You reap what you sow – Galatians 6:7
Eat, drink and be merry – Ecclesiastes 8:15
Live off the fat of the land – Genesis 45:18
A land (flowing) of milk and honey – Exodus 3:8
Forbidden fruit – Genesis 2:16-17
Nothing but skin and bones – Job 19:20
Man does not live by bread alone – Matthew 4:4
Jezebel – Revelation 2:20
A wolf in sheep clothing – Matthew 7:15
A thorn in my side – 2 Corinthians 12:7
Don’t throw your pearls before swine - Matthew 7:6
The lion’s den – Daniel 6:12
Wash their hands of the matter – Matthew 27:24
A law unto themselves – Romans 2:14
Feet of clay – Daniel 2:31–33
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth – Exodus 21:23–25
Pride comes before a fall – Proverbs 16:18
How the mighty have fallen – 2 Samuel 1:25
The root of the matter – Job 19:28
There is nothing new under the sun – Ecclesiastes 1:9
Camel to go through the eye of a needle – Matthew 16:24
A leopard can’t change his spots – Jeremiah 13:23
The love of money is the root of all evil – 1 Timothy 6:10
Chasing the wind – Ecclesiastes 2:11
Reap the whirlwind – Hosea 8:7
Salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13
A still small voice – I Kings 19:12
As white as snow – Isaiah 1:18
Give up the ghost – Luke 23:46 (KJV)
Streets paved with gold – Revelations 21:21
Labor of love – 1 Thessalonians 1:3
Weighed in the balance and found wanting – Daniel 5:27
A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush – Ecclesiastes 6:9 (TLB)
Set in stone – Exodus 31:18
Eleventh hour – Matt. 20:6 (KJV)
Fought (Fight) the good fight – 1 Timothy 6:12
The skin of your teeth – Job 19:20
At my wit’s end – Psalm 107:27
Amen! – Psalm 106:48